Corporate Social Responsibility and Standards for Business Transparency and Quality
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“Responsible business is good business”. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) underlines the accountability of business organizations to the society and the environment. Various international standards such as the AA1000, KLD, SA-8000, DR 03028 are in use as guidelines for the CSR performance of companies. The companies that comply with these standards are considered as being transparent in their operations to their stakeholders. But these CSR standards and ratings are fixed by outside agencies
and not by the stakeholders of the company who are the people to be actually convinced.
CSR is not only an essential requirement for the development of the business community, the society and the environment, but also to legitimize the organization in the society and to affording a competitive edge to the company (Wartick & Cochran, 1985). Interdependence of business and society and mutual understanding along with an evident responsibility in behavior are seen as the prerequisites of any successful corporation in the present globalization and growth of businesses (Holme & Watts, 2000). Only then can the environment of improvement in the business processes and the development of the society and the environment be created.
There are also detractors to the practice of CSR from the business purist who draw attention to the fact that Corporate Social Responsibility distracts the companies from the fundamental economic quality of business. There are other viewpoints too, such as CSR being used to assuage the conscience of the corporations and to conciliate the governments (Lingham, 2009).
Holmes and Watts (2000) argue that it is the obligatory on the part of the organizations to validate the transparency of their processes and contributions to the society because it is society that underwrites the development of business. The various processes and activities of the organizations have formidable consequences on their employees, customers, the environment, the investors, the government and other stakeholders. These have to be evaluated and monitored to withstand the growth of the business. Corporate Social Responsibility activities that integrate societal concerns with their business policy and performance are regarded as an imperative adjunct to good business management (Hohnen & Potts, 2007).
Figure 1.CSR key issues and their relevance to the appropriate stakeholders (from: Hohnen & Potts, 2007)
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